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Servite's Lytle embraces his opportunity to lead
Growing up, Tyler Lytle played tight end, running back, linebacker.
He didn’t think about quarterback. He didn’t want to play quarterback.
His father, a defense-minded guy who played safety for the University of Hawaii, wasn’t fond of the idea, either. His father wanted him to learn different positions, rather than get bottled up on one.
But the first day of practice for Lytle’s seventh-grade team, Lytle and his teammates realized they didn’t have a quarterback.
Rick Mirer, coach of the team and a former NFL and Notre Dame player, quickly solved the problem.
“Who can throw?” Mirer asked.
Lytle’s arm bolted toward the sky.
“I wanted the job,” Lytle said. “That’s when I really developed a love for it. I knew this was what I wanted to do.”
Now Lytle, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound Colorado commit, is the starting quarterback for Servite (4-4 overall), which plays top-ranked Mater Dei (8-0 overall) on Friday night at Angel Stadium.
The senior, who also played basketball and lacrosse growing up before focusing exclusively on football, helped Servite nearly pull off an upset against two-time defending state champion De La Salle of Concord before falling 28-27. Lytle completed 25 passes for 303 yards plus a rushing touchdown.
The QB also finished 18 of 28 passing for 277 yards in a 41-32 win over Villa Park earlier this season, throwing for two touchdowns and running for another.
“With his personality, he loves being the leader out on the field, taking command, having the ball in his hands in situations,” said Taylor Kelly, one of Lytle’s QB trainers at 3DQB, a group that trains NFL as well as youth/high school quarterbacks. “He wants to be that playmaker. He wants to be the best quarterback he can be.”
Lytle, who amassed 15 scholarship offers, is having a breakout year after missing much of last season with a hamstring injury that he suffered in the team’s first league game of 2015 against JSerra.
He completed 15 of 25 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown in Servite’s 44-0 win against Fountain Valley to start this season.
“He has a true eye for the game,” senior linebacker Jarrett Wesner said. “He knows when to stay and leave the pocket. If the line gives Ty three seconds to make a decision, he becomes a defensive coordinator’s nightmare.”
Lytle is morphing into a leader that can do more than throw – he is also someone who can lead a locker room.
“Last year, he was a little bit more lead by example,” Servite coach Scott Meyer said. “As a junior, he was out there performing, kind of letting the seniors lead the way. But this year he’s been much more vocal.”
Lytle hopes Servite can reach farther in the post season than last season, as the team finished 4-6 overall, 2-3 in league.
“I’m just really focused on getting wins,” Lytle said. “Our focus as a team is to make playoffs and really shake things up in the postseason, and to do that, we need to take care of business week in, week out. That’s been my focus.”
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